Robert Chrisman is a poet and essayist who's been a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Chair of the Black Studies Department of the University of Nebraska at Omaha until mid-2005 and the principal organizer of that department's Malcolm X Festival for three years.
The Black Scholar
Dr. Chrisman's current research interests include: the impact of modernism on Afro-American authors of the twentieth century; and works of the Afro-Cuban poets, Nicholas Guillen and Nancy Morejon. He published Pan-Africanism (1974), as co-compiler with Nathan Hare, Court of Appeal: The Black Community Speaks Out on the Racial and Sexual Politics of Thomas vs. Hill (1992), and Robert Hayden: Essays on the Poetry, as co-editor with Laurence Goldstein (2001). This lens has an Amazon module for Dr. Chrisman's books that are currently in print. Dr. Chrisman also was co-compiler (with Dr. Hare) of Contemporary Black Thought: The Best from The Black Scholar (1974), which is out of print.
According to Portia Sieglebaum, writing in the Communist Party USA's Daily World, Wednesday March 3, 1976 page 4, in late February, the Marxist-Leninist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola and Angola government officials led a two-dav seminar in Havana to acquaint a large United States delegation with the struggle of the Angolan people.
A day and a half presentation by three Angolan leaders: Commandante Dibala, a member of the MPLA central committee and political commissar of the Eastern Front; Olga Lima, director of political affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Relations; and Pedro Zinga Baptista, a member of the Foreign relations department of the MPLA, was followed by a question and answer period. The MPLA spokesmen affirmed that MPLA doesn't believe that revolutions can be exported, but that it does believe that examples are followed.
Attending the seminar were 26 North Americans representing a wide range of organizations as well as several journalists.
Among the representatives were Marjorie Boehm from Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; James Bristol of the American Friends Service Committee; Robert Chrisman of the magazine Black Scholar: Henry Foner of the Fur and Leather Workers Joint Board; George Houser of the American Committee on Africa; Lee Johnson of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists; Brenda Jones of Freedomways Magazine: Willis Logan of the Africa Office, National Council of Churches; Anthony Monteiro of National Anti-Imperialist Movement in Solidarity with African Liberation ; Patricia Murray of National Conference of Black Lawyers; Antonio Rodriguez of Centra de Accion Social Autonomo (acasa), a Chicano organization and Jose Velazquez of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party.
A telegram sent to the gathering by Rep.Charles Diggs (D-Mich) expressed regret that he could not attend and offered his hope for a frank and fruitful meeting.
North Americans in Support of Angola
The Angola Support Conference came into existence to organize a conference to support the MPLA held in Chicago, May 28-30, 1976. The Conference supported the MPLA and opposed U.S. and South African intervention in Angola. The sponsors were organizations supporting the MPLA from around the country. After the Chicago conference, the organization continued its activities with Prexy Nesbitt serving as national coordinator. Sponsors were;
- Barbara Barnes, MPLA Solidarity Committee
- Marjorie M. Boehm, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
- James E. Bristol, American Friends Service Committee
- Robert S. Browne, Black Economic Research Center
- Robert Chrisman; Black Scholar
- Johnnetta B. Cole; National Committee of the Venceremos Brigade
- Henry Foner, Amalgamated Meatcutters and Butcherworkmen of North America;
- Larry Holmes; Youth Against War and Fascism
- George M. Houser, American Committee on Africa
- A. Lee Johnson, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
- Brenda J. Jones, Freedomways Magazine
- Edgar Lockwood, Washington Office on Africa;
- Willis Logan, Africa Office, National Council of Churches
- Anthony Monteiro, National Anti-Imperialist Movement in Solidarity with African Liberation
- Patricia Murray, National Council of Black Lawyers
- Prexy Nesbitt, US Out of Angola Committee and Chicago Committee for the Liberation of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea
- Moses Newsom, Afro-American Newspapers
- Lance Pustin, Prairie Fire Organizing Committee
- Anthony H. Rodrigues, CSAS-General Brotherhood of Workers
- Michael Simmons, Third World Coalition/Southwest Workers Federation
- Jose E. Velazquez, Partide Socialista Pertorriquena
- Joe Walker, Bilalian News. .
East Bloc visit
In 1985, a delegation of 16 Afro-American journalists traveled to the Soviet Union, German Democratic Republic and Czechoslovakia.
The delegation consisted of
- Robert Chrisman Editor and publisher of The Black Scholar
- Utrice Leid Managing editor New York City Sun
- John Williams Photographer, New York City Sun
- Marcia Keizs Editor of the Carib Sun
- Ben Dupuy Director of Haiti Progress
- Terry Johnson Reporter for the Philadelphia Enquirer
- John Woodford National Alliance of Third World Journalists
- Charles Belle Syndicated business columnist representing the National Black Publishers Association
- Valerie Van Isler International news staff, Pacifica Radio, New York
- Lena Sherrod Director of The Peoples Institute of Economics
- Joe Walker International Organization of Journalists US
- Edward Palmer President Black Press Institute
- Jan Carew Executive Board PresidentBlack Press Institute
- Richard Hudlin Phd, writer and researcher, Black Press Institute
- Kevin Blackistone Reporter for the Chicago Reporter, Black Press Institute
- Alice Palmer Black Press Institute
The trip was organized by International Organization of Journalists executive Don Rojas, the American educated former press secretary to Grenada's late leader Maurice Bishop, in conjunction with the Black Press Institute, the National Alliance of Black Journalists and the National Newspaper Publishers Association-the US's largest organization of owners of black newspapers.
- The trip was extraordinary because we were able to sit down with our counterparts and with the seats of power in three major capitals-Prague, Berlin and Moscow. We visited with foreign ministers, we talked with the editors of the major newspapers in these three cities...
- It was a very unusual trip because we were given access...Every effort was made to give us as much as we asked for...We came back feeling that we could speak very well about the interest of the socialist countries in promoting peace.
- This was before the (Soviet nuclear test ban) moratorium, this was before the Reykjavik offers...It was very clear to us in our conversations and interviews with people at that time, that this was already something of concern and, something that would be promoted when the opportunity arose, as we can see that it has been.
Black Press Institute
- Letter to all persons who attended the Angola Support Conference, July 8, 1976
- http://africanactivist.msu.edu/organization.php?name=Angola+Support+Conference Angola Support Conference Wisconsin State Historical Society]
- Peoples Daily World Dec 24 1986 p 10
- New Deliberations Spring 1986 pages 4/5
- Peoples Daily World Dec 24 1986 p 11
- Black Press Institute Letterhead October 5 1987